Third in a Row!

Third in a Row!

Max Verstappen is on a roll at the right time of the season. He has just secured his third first place finish in Mexico and with just four races left he still has Lewis Hamilton nipping at his heels. At the beginning of the race, Sunday’s win was in doubt to the onlookers. On Saturday, Lewis Hamilton and Valterri Bottas secured the first row on the grid. Mercedes was the fastest team on the straights and overall. They were poised for victory at the start of the race, much like Ferrari last year.

Verstappen’s skill and courage dashed Mercedes hopes. As the grid sped down the main straight to the first turn, Verstappen creeped up on Bottas left making it three wide into the first turn. Verstappen waited till the last possible moment to brake into the turn. Bottas hit the brakes first, followed by Hamilton and Verstappen glided by breaking at the last moment turning ahead of both Mercedes and taking the lead. Figuratively, he never looked back. The only time he was not in first place was when he pitted, and Sergio Perez took the lead.

As Bottas drifted into the turn, he fell back into Daniel Ricciardo’s McLaren, spinning out and taking the McLaren’s front wing with him. Yuki Tsunoda and Mick Schumacher were also caught up in the carnage and unfortunately were the only drivers knocked out of the race. Just like that, Bottas fell from 1st to 17th on the grid after a dramatic turn one in Mexico. He was only able to recover to 15th position. He may have been able to do better on Sunday, however during his pit stop the wheel gun was stuck on his front wheel making his stop 11.7 seconds.

This was an interesting race. Formula 1’s attempt to make racing more competitive is working.

Though Bottas finished 15th he did secure the fastest lap of the race at a 1:17:774. After the drama of the first lap passed the race settled in and the most interesting racing occurred in the middle of the field with a shuffling of the drivers, throughout the race. Ferrari was able to secure a 5th and 6th place leaving only one McLaren to finish in 10th place. Eight different teams finished in the top 10. Only Williams and HAAS were left out in the cold.

Four Former Formula 1 Champions finished in the top ten. After Hamilton, the list starts at seventh position with Sebastian Vettel, then Kimi Raikkonen ending with Fernando Alonso. It is a fine piece of history to note.

“So happy we won in my country!” is the quote of the day. Sergio Perez was incredibly gracious supporting his teammate Max Verstappen in his victory. He is the first Mexican to stand on a podium in a Mexican Grand Prix. He too is also on a role securing three podiums in a row.

Next week Verstappen will look to extend his lead on Hamilton in Brazil as Formula 1 continues its western hemisphere tour thru the Americas.

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